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The Ultimate Lummi Island Travel Guide

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

The top of an overlook with a view of the evergreen trees, Rosario Strait, the Salish Sea, and a vast sky on Lummi Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. ©AlonzoWright
Where the sky and sea collide, the view from the hike up Baker Preserve on Lummi Island. ©AlonzoWright

Lummi Island is a quirky and approachable artist colony nestled in the emerald velvet of the Pacific Northwest. It’s home to one of the best restaurants in the country, the Willows Inn, and a smattering of artists, writers, farmers, fishermen and genuinely lovely people who’ve seemed to tap into a true sense of community and a closer connection to the land. This is a place to unplug, to decompress, to reflect, to hear yourself think, to just be. If what you crave is to center yourself and quiet your mind, there are very few distractions. It’s far from roughing it, but the island has a rustic charm with luxury-leaning (albeit limited) offerings like art galleries, elevated dining options and a wine gallery featuring artisanal tastings. It’s also a great place for outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking and other water sports.

Whatcom Chief ferry carrying passengers & vehicles from Gooseberry Point to Lummi Island, WA across the bay with Mount Baker in the background. ©AlonzoWright
The Whatcom Chief ferries passengers & vehicles from Gooseberry Point to Lummi Island, WA. ©AlonzoWright

How to get to Lummi Island

Where is Lummi Island, you ask? In the glorious Pacific Northwest, surrounded by the slate blue waters of the Salish Sea, just off the coast of Bellingham in Washington state. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Bellingham either, it’s just under 100 miles north of Seattle and has its own sleepy international airport an hour from the island. That’s the best place to fly into to bypass the Seattle gridlock traffic that may or may not delay your departure on the Whatcom ferry going over to Lummi Island. From the Bellingham International Airport, you’ll head about 10 minutes up the I-5 to Ferndale to stop for supplies at a wonderful grocer called Haggen, they’re exclusive to Washington and offer a robust selection of produce, specialty items and other supplies you won’t likely get on the island, especially if you go in the off-season.

The Lummi Island Ferry

You’ll then drive through the Lummi Reservation, home to the third largest Native American tribe in Washington, and the original inhabitants of the region. The Whatcom ferry goes back and forth between Lummi Island and Gooseberry Point on the reservation about every 20 minutes from just before 6 a.m. to midnight. It’ll cost you about $20 for a roundtrip ticket for two plus your car (more if you have a larger truck or SUV and additional people), and the ride is (unfortunately) a short one at about 10 minutes. You can buy the ticket at the terminal or on the ferry itself with cash or a credit/debit card.